CNN Pentagon correspondent Barbara Starr reported this weekend on a program used to train military doctors for the fast-paced and bloody environment found in war zone hospitals — namely, America’s inner cities.
Starr follows a rotation of military doctors who are preparing for their deployment at the University of Maryland Shock Trauma Center in Baltimore. The program director told Starr that the hospital is the closest to a war zone hospital he has seen:
COL. DAVID POWERS: The injuries that I’ve treated here and that I see here at this hospital are the closest thing to the injuries I saw in Iraq that I’ve experienced in the continental United States.
Watch a clip:
While the program is no doubt useful for preparing doctors for the high-intensity environments overseas and likewise giving doctors broad sets of skills they can use at home, that doctors can train for war zones through the crush of patients with, among other injuries, stabbing and gunshot wounds serve as a powerful reminder that as the wars overseas wind down, problems at home remain.
The total spending on the U.S.’ wars now exceeds $1.2 trillion. The Pentagon budget passed by the House earlier this month allocated nearly $200 billion this year for the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. Meanwhile, Baltimore ranks as the eighth most dangerous city, second in its reported HIV/AIDS rate, and is the heroin capital of the country.